Student Political Action in New Zealand

Bridget Williams Books

It was not long ago that students were dismissed as apathetic. Yet, today, a new generation of young political actors is making waves in New Zealand and around the world. What explains this apparent shift and what is driving these new forms of youthful political engagement and expression?

Exploring the terrain between activism and apathy, Sylvia Nissen considers what it means to be a political actor from the perspective of students today. Drawing on in-depth interviews with New Zealand students, she traces their ‘desires’ for different types of politics, the ‘demands’ they experience at university, and the ‘doubts’ that underscore their political engagement.

About the author

Sylvia Nissen is a lecturer in the Department of Environmental Management at Lincoln University. She holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Canterbury, and was awarded the Kate Sheppard Memorial Prize for her research. She is the author of Student Debt and Political Participation.